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A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & General Editor
Volume 9, Number 4, December 2015

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Bruce Ross
Hampden, Maine, USA


So Still

The great square in Munich is filled with people waiting for the famous clock to chime, many sitting in a surrounding café to get out of the sun. The dancing master is ready to lead the dancers:

Glockenspiel
dancing figures for the Black Death’s end
so still

In Garmisch-Partenkirchen there is a water fountain that reproduces the famous dancing figures of the Munich clock. There are seven dancers, and every seven years the townsfolk enact the Cooper’s dance.

Three pairs of dancers hold garlands and the dancing master holds what looks like a drum in one hand and a drum stick in the other. I revisit the fountain several times and my companion washes her hands in it. Wandering among the cobbled streets I find another memorial, a painting, that personalizes the impact of the plague that devastated Europe and begin to understand that long ago event:

Bavarian Old Town
Death hovers over the last death
to the Black Plague

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